Showing posts with label Courage Apostolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Courage Apostolate. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New Groups & Opportunities for Healing in Indiana, California, & Texas

Hi, 
In our Joel 2:25 Online Chapel, we have been meeting every day for Lauds and Compline in English and Spanish. We are hoping to add a few new groups soon including Vespers and at least one Women's Prayer Group (our others are co-ed). If you or anyone you know would be interested in joining us, please let me know or check out our Online Chapel at: http://www.Joel225.org/JoelPrayer 

Also, I just found out that there are only a few spaces left for the upcoming Journey into Manhood (JiM) weekends in California, Indiana, and Texas.
  • September 19-21, 2014:  near Bloomington, Indiana
  • September 26-28, 2014: Southern California
  • October 17-19, 2014: near Houston, Texas


I would HIGHLY recommend this experience. It was a huge breakthrough for ME and many others that I know. Here is a short video where I talked about my own experience: 




To register for the JiM weekend, click here: http://www.PeopleCanChange.com/jim  There are sponsorships available and I have been told that everyone who applies for financial aide receive some kind of help - so don't let that stand in your way. It is worth 100 therapy sessions and well worth a flight, etc. 


Also, if anyone here (or anyone you know) can benefit, we are starting a new video-conference group in Ukrainian that will meet every Wednesday.  http://joel225.org/j225_016.htm Please email: Ukrainian@Joel225.org for more info. 

Pax Christi,
Jeremy Schwab


P.S.: Here is another video with more information on Journey into Manhood


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back from Beyond

Monday, January 20, 2014

Name Change (MyExGayJourney to MySSAJourney)

I recently changed the name and URL for my blog from: MyExGayJourney to MySSAJourney. I thought the URL (myexgayjourney.blogspot.com) would transfer to the new URL (MySSAJourney.Blogspot.com), but I guess that didn't work.

The reason for the change is NOT due to any change in my own beliefs or goals. It is just that I never intended to use the term "Ex-Gay" anyway. I don't believe any of us are created TO BE gay and this journey isn't about become "Ex" anything as much as it is about growth and healing in authenticity and assertion - releasing shame and other false identities and counter-emotions.

Anway, I hope to share more here soon. I've been preoccupied with ministry work (http://www.Joel225.com) and my regular full-time job in the corporate world, so I haven't had much time for writing. I hope to get more prolific in the future though.

Pax Christi,
Jeremy

Saturday, January 4, 2014

"Becoming a Whole Man" - by David Matheson

Here is a great new resource which is really excellent: http://becomingawholeman.com
Also the website for the "Center for Gender Wholeness": http://genderwholeness.com/

I highly recommend the book and the interactive website. The "Masculine Archetypes" that David Matheson describes are the "King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover." They are also referenced in many other men's programs - including the Promise Keepers

I actually have 8 books on my shelf right now about the "Masculine Archetypes" as well as one on the feminine archetypes. 

Anyway, this website is really awesome!  David Matheson is also one of the creators of the JiM weekend (Journey into Manhood) http://www.PeopleCanChange.com/jim I hope to have him come to one our Joel 2:25 meetings (http://www.Joel225.com) as a guest speaker later this year. 

Pax Christi,
Jeremy

Monday, November 11, 2013

Seven days of prayer/fasting for Women with Same-Sex Attraction (SSA)

In Joel 2:25 (http://www.Joel225.com), we currently have 14 small groups for guys in different languages and stages of life. We have been having men who are in other groups gather to pray while one group is meeting. (i.g. guys from the Spanish group praying for the Russian group, English group praying for the Portuguese group, Italians, German, etc.)

This past weekend, the men of Joel 2:25 began seven days of fasting and prayer / fasting for a major new group that we are starting for women. We've discussed in our men's groups that one of our roles as men is to wake up our Warrior archetype. In this case, we are dealing with major Spiritual warfare. This will be the first video-conference group of it's kind for Women with SSA. Our sisters will be embarking on a major journey with women from four countries already on board. It is important that we as men step up and fight for them on this battlefield by storming heaven with prayer and fasting over the next seven days.

Anyway, I'd like to ask you to join us in praying for the women of Joel 2:25 and for all women with SSA.

Pax Christi,
Jeremy


Thursday, November 7, 2013

NEW group for PARENT's of Teens with Same-Sex Attraction

I got another email yesterday from a 16 year old seeking help with Same-Sex Attraction (SSA). In addition to the two 15 year olds who emailed a while back, this is starting to weigh on me. All of teens who have emailed me so far have said that they're parents were aware of their SSA and willing to give their written permission for them to participate in a support group. I've sent them all the links/resources as I knew of, but had to explain we do not yet have a Joel 2:25 group for them. I think it's time I stopped stalling though on getting the Parent's group together. 

If there are any Christian Counselors or pastoral leaders who might be willing to volunteer to help lead these, I'd love to talk with them.  I'm also asking guys in our "Young Adults" Small Group (under 27yo) to volunteer to help join these video-conferences and share THEIR experiences and insights with the parents.

I am envisioning this as being separate groups for Fathers and Mothers of Sons and Daughters with SSA or other confusions. 





Pax Christi,
Jeremy
http://www.Joel225.com

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NEW Group for WOMEN with Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction (Joel225.com)

This is EXCITING NEWS!!!!!


The WOMEN of Joel have tentatively scheduled their first Small Group Video-Conference for Saturday November 16th at 2:00PM CST (20:00 GMT).

http://www.Joel225.com

 If you know a woman with SSA who would be interested, please encourage them to contact Carol at:  info@joel225.com

Here is our website with resources for Women with SSA: http://joel225.com/joel_014.htm
We will be adding a LOT more resources and information soon. :)

Pax Christi,
Jeremy

P.S.:  Here is a link for the Time Zone conversions (Event Time Announcer) for the Women's video-conference group. This covers every major city: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?p1=34&iso=20131116T22&msg=Women%20of%20Joel%202%3a25%20-%20Small%20Group%20Video-Conference&sort=1



Friday, October 4, 2013

Don's Journey into Manhood

Today I'd like to share my friend Don's story. His journey was a little different from mine in that he was married with a family before he began this journey. He is an awesome man of God and now leads one our Small Groups in Joel 2:25 (http://www.Joel225.com )

-------------------------------------
In late 2006 I had grown utterly disillusioned with my life.  I had been fighting my same sex attraction through adolescence and my college years and for 25 years of marriage.  I was losing the fight.  I had a deep faith but I had concluded that the Love of God was somehow not meant for me.  I had prayed unceasingly for 40 years for release from this burden without any impact.  The worst part was the loneliness.  I lacked the kind of male friendships that I longed for and found straight men to be so unemotional and disconnected that they seemed incapable of real intimacy.  My wife was emotionally distant and hurt from my general lack of pursuit of her heart and I was facing the prospect of living the rest of my life in emotional isolation.  I could not stand it anymore. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Prayers for New Jersey

Please pray for everyone in the state of New Jersey. Yesterday, their Governor Chris Christie signed into law a horrible attack on religious freedom and an attack on many programs that provide REAL help to youth with this particular struggle. As of today, it is illegal in New Jersey for a 17 year-old with unwanted same-sex attractions to receive professional counseling, even with parental consent. I cannot grasp why Governor Chris Christie still claims to be a "Republican" a "Catholic" and an "American."
His actions are direct assault on all three



Pax Christi,
Jeremy

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/chris-christie-signs-ban-on-reparative-therapy-liberty-counsel-promises-to

Back from "Beyond"

I just got back from staffing "Journey Beyond" the advanced program that builds on "Journey into Manhood" (JiM). It was REALLY AWESOME!!!!!!!!

This is my second time staffing JB - it's only offered once a year, but I got to take on a bigger role and see a lot of amazing transformations take place. We had a priest on our staff and we were able to have daily mass for the second year in a row. That was really powerful. I'd highly recommend "Journey Beyond" for anyone. I have had a few non-SSA friends go as well and they say it changed their lives as well.

Anyway, one of the per-requisites to go to "Journey Beyond" is the "Journey into Manhood" (JiM) weekend - since JB builds a lot on that experience. There are three weekends coming up:
  • September 27-29, 2013: Indiana
  • October 1-3, 2013: Israel
  • October 18-20, 2013: Texas
"Journey into Manhood" (JiM) changed my life back in 2009 and opened up a whole new world for me in terms of relating to other men and overcoming the limiting effects of SSA. "Journey Beyond" took that to the next level in 2011 and I've continued to see God working miracles in my life that began there.

Here is the link for more info: http://www.PeopleCanChange.com/jim

Pax Christi,
Jeremy

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Please pray for everyone at JONAH

Please continue to pray for everyone else at JONAH (the Jewish version of Courage) as they continue to battle for the freedom to help men and women with SSA. They are facing a frivolous lawsuit which is designed to bankrupt them. Many other SSA ministries - which are being continuously receiving subpoenas and forced to spend hundreds of thousands on legal fees to defend themselves even though they are not defendants.
This past Friday the judge refused their motion for dismissal so the Discovery phase will drag into 2014 and the legal fees will exceed $1,000,000. This includes the cost of time and travel for depositions, engaging expert witnesses, doing research, and keeping up with the barrage of both superfluous and essential requests coming from the plaintiffs.


Your financial support in any amount is deeply appreciated and can be directed to either the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund at  www.ConscienceDefense.org, or to JONAH at www.jonahweb.org. Please feel to share this letter with anyone who would be sympathetic to our cause.

Pax Christi,
Jeremy

"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your position for such a time as this?”
- Esther 4:14

Monday, June 24, 2013

Restored Hope Network lives up to its name


I went to the Restored Hope Network conference this past weekend. (http://www.restoredhopenetwork.com/)  It was really nurturing and encouraging, especially after this past week. It was really cool to meet so many of the original founders and previous leaders of Exodus (Frank Worthen, Anne Paulk, Andy Comiskey, etc.)

I got to go to dinner with their Board of Directors afterward and was really inspired by their enthusiasm for the ministry work ahead. It changed my original perception of them which had been based on a few statements that originally seemed to me to be harshly worded. I got a much more well-rounded understanding of them and found it really refreshing.
It was also really exciting to hear that they are partnering with Christopher West (http://www.christopherwest.com/) who will be helping them implement Pope John Paul II's "Theology of the Body" as well as Catholic therapist Dr. Joseph Nicolosi (http://www.josephnicolosi.com/) who pioneered many advances in Reparative Therapy.

This past week had been really rough. I wasn't surprised by Alan Chamber's statements and "apologies" but the finality of the Exodus decision hit me hard. That was followed by several emails from a former friend who is a gay activist and wanted to offer me "support."

I was crying out to God and feeling ALONE for the first time in a long time. I know that is silly. I know hundreds of guys on this same journey who have found healing and transformation through Jesus Christ and many who have benefited from Reparative Therapy, but last week I really felt isolated and cornered by the World. Anyway, this past weekend was a very refreshing time of prayer and worship. I would say this small organization has lived up to their name: they helped Restore MY Hope. ;)

Pax Christi,
Jeremy

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Trust, Open, Surrender?

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. - Luke 12:7 and Matthew 10:30
I know that we have all read opinions and political statements on Homosexuality and for almost every other issue of morality as well. For an individual Christian who experiences Same-Sex Attraction, the flood of arguments and opinions are daunting.  

I was raised Baptist, but started going to a "Gay Church" when I was in High School and off and on in my 20's. I wanted to believe what they taught about homosexuality, but knew that there were many who would disagree. 

I worried that if the traditional christian teaching was correct, than I had a challenge ahead of me. I had not yet been able to simply "Pray away the Gay" and I wasn't so sure that anyone else had either. 

I started to realized though that IF the "gay church" was correct, than that only meant that God didn't have a plan for my life at all. They provided arguments that the scriptural references regarding homosexuality were not concrete or relevant to modern understanding, but there was no evidence that this was some new kind of Vocation or that my life would have any positive meaning or purpose due to these new loopholes. (I'll write a separate post about those arguments and discuss each "side" another time)


For a while, I thought I could be truly "objective" and analyze each side's arguments from a purely academic perspective. I realized quickly though that it would take decades of rigorous study in Psychology, Theology, Hebrew, and Greek before I would even be able to make an educated guess about which "side" was right. (I'll wait to comment on Sola Scriptura another time)

There were times I aligned myself with each "side" and was welcomed warmly and joyfully. I have no doubt that everyone who is passionate about this issue (even those I disagree with) have positive intentions. I have also faced disappointment with individuals and organizations on both "sides."  No human being who has a perfect answer to make everything easy and simple. There are three very important questions though that we all choose to answer not just with Same-Sex Attraction, but with everything else in our lives:

  1. Do I TRUST that God has a detailed plan and purpose for my life?
  2. Am I OPEN to hearing what that is, even if it's not what I currently want it be?
  3. Am I willing to SURRENDER my own will, identity, and plans to accept His will for me?
Conscious or not, we choose to answer these every single day. For most of my life, I answered "NO!" Nowadays, I choose to answer "Yes" more frequently, but I still have a ways to go. These are very tough questions. If you think these are easy, then read them again.  

If however, you might be willing to answer "Yes" to all three (even for just one day), please pray with me right now:
Jesus,
I surrender to you today with all my heart and soul. Please come into my heart in a deeper way. I say, “Yes” to you today. I open all the secret places of my heart to you and say, “Come on in.” Jesus, you are the Lord of my whole life. I believe in you and receive you as my Lord and Savior. I hold nothing back.
Holy Spirit, bring me to a deeper conversion to the person of Jesus Christ. I surrender all to you: my will, my plans for the future, my relationships, my work, successes and failures. I release it and let it go because I trust that YOU have plans for me - plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future.
I surrender my understanding of how things ‘ought’ to be, my choices and my will. I surrender to you the promises I have kept and the promises I have failed to keep. I surrender my weaknesses and strengths to you. I surrender my emotions, my fears, my insecurities, my sexuality. I especially surrender _________ (Here mention other areas of surrender as the Holy Spirit reveals them to you.) Lord, I surrender my whole life to you, the past, the present, and the future. In sickness and in health, in life and in death, I belong to you.
Amen
As you know from the rest of my blog, I prayed this prayer after having lived in gay relationships for several years. At the time, I thought that all I wanted was for God to restore my relationship with Tim, my live-in partner who had left. It was very difficult for me to let go and trust God with the outcome of All three questions. I was most afraid that it might lead me... well... to exactly the path I am on today. The path hasn't been easy, but it has brought real happiness and fulfillment to my life. I have been happier the last three years than ever before in my life and it's gets even better every day. 

Pax Christi,
Jeremy
http://www.Joel225.org
Jeremy@Joel225.org

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Equally Confusing



I had to apologize to a few of my close friends earlier for losing my temper and making some uncharitable comments in response to their decisions to post the HRC's logo this week on their Facebook profiles in support of redefining Marriage

I explained that my disapproval was NOT about politics. I DO respect their variety of political views and of course the rights of everyone to express those views however they choose.

 
My own calling and mission the last two years has included affirming and encouraging healing for wounded men and women and leading them to the Lord (regardless of orientation). I host four ongoing groups of men in my living room. One of the groups is not related to homosexuality and the other three are for guys in different stages of recovery from homosexuality. I spend an hour or two every night on the phone with guys from all over and about 5 or 6 hours every Sunday. I get really tired sometimes of having to talk about that subject. It has been WORTH it though to be able to play a small part in seeing others heal.


Friday, February 8, 2013

What does "Ex-Gay" or "Change" mean to ME?

These two words seem to evoke deep emotion in nearly everyone I know. They have also been "trigger words" for me in the past (on BOTH sides). They can be used in very polarizing ways and many have chosen to do away with the words altogether. I selected the name for this blog over two years ago. I have never really like the term, but I figured the phrase "Ex-Gay" was was the only search term that was widely known. Almost everyone I know in Exodus, Courage, NARTH, etc - hates that term. I myself would also like to clarify that I am not "Ex" anything. I am just MORE myself than ever before.

I'll let the organizations speak for themselves. Everyone seems to think that they claimed to have a "Cure" simply because they offer help to people like myself. I'd highly encourage you to check out what they have to say for themselves: 

"The Five Goals of Courage" - Courage Apostolate
"What If I Don't Change?" - Dr. Joseph Nicolosi

In my case, I spent 12 years with the "Gay" label and I no longer feel that the "Gay" label is accurate. I still experience some SSA (Same-Sex Attraction), but much less than before. Even if I had not experienced that healing, I would still say that Homosexuality itself is a suppression of the healthy relational nature that all human beings are designed for. I realize many will be angry and stop reading here. A few years ago, I would have been enraged at hearing anyone say what I just wrote. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Prayer Request: Sharing my Testimony

"Do not refrain from speaking at the crucial time, and do not hide your wisdom." - Sirach 4:23 

"They have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony" - Revelation 12:11

I have a quick prayer request. I will be recording a short video about the healing that has occurred in my life over the last three years since I left the gay lifestyle.  The video will be part of the Voices of Change website which is run by my friends at P.A.T.H. (Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality).


For me, this is about reaching Souls and proclaiming the Truth. It goes way beyond current politics (the principalities of this present darkness). I've been fasting and praying that I can speak to hearts with Love and grace. I just finished praying a Rosary and will start recording in a few minutes.

I have only recorded one other webcam video: http://youtu.be/w1_pBLuBEgw This one was part of a TV interview (via Skype) with a TV station on the East Coast. I had to get up at 5:00am and clean my room before they called me on Skype at 6:00am. (If I'd overslept, that'd been really embarrassing - LOL) ;)

Anyway, this time I can prepare more and tailor my own message. I wrote out some of my own story in these two posts: "Surrendering to Christ at Disney's Gay Pride" and "Reply to my old gay bible study group." I don't want it to be just MY message though. This is God's story. I want to be open to let the Holy Spirit say what he wants to say.

Btw, my friend Blake has made several really awesome videos. If you haven't already watched his, check them out here:  http://myexgayjourney.blogspot.com/2013/01/real-love-vs-gay-feelings.html

Pax Christi,
Jeremy

P.S.: One other prayer request. I got asked to speak to over 100 High School students in Confirmation at a parish on February 17th. I've never given a talk in public about this issue and certainly not to High School students. I can use some prayers about what to say and how to convey the Truth with Faith, Hope, and Love.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Real LOVE

In this video, my friend Blake shares some powerful insights as he explains why he chose Christ and decided to leave behind gay relationships.  

Check out his other videos which are also really powerful:
LOVE  

Pax Christi,
Jeremy
P.S.: I shared some of my own similar experiences in my post titled: "Response to my old 'gay bible study' group" - September 2010

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

St. Joseph, the original Navy Seal

I was struggling with a lot of anger this past week over a blogger who relentlessly attacks everyone I know. He uses every accusation he can find (no matter how ridiculous) and spreads rumors all over the place. He viciously attacks and mocks everyone who attempts to support those of us seeking emotional healing and reduction of SSA. His beliefs and approach seem identical to Wayne Besen's blog, but this guy claims to be a "Christian Professor" and people mistakenly believe he is on our side so they forward links to his blog all over the place. 

I feel some Shame though because I erupted in anger when someone emailed me with a link to his blog. I wasn't so much angry about his latest attacks (mocking my friends Arthur and Alan at JONAH), but I was furious that people think he still on our side and then use him as a source. I dropped a lot of really important things especially tasks for ministry work (providing encouragement and affirmation to my friends in need). I instead focused my energy on arguing with him (which was NOT on my to-do list for that day). Not only was it a waste of time, it was potentially counter-productive to the ministry work to the individuals that God has placed in my path.
"Man's anger does not accomplish God's righteousness" - James 1:20
 In our local Courage chapter, a therapist here in Dallas / Fort Worth has started leading us in a program he developed called "St. Joseph's Workshop."

This past week we had our first section and part of the process/discussion focused on the manly virtues demonstrated by St. Joseph during the events we commemorate in Christmas. Obviously as a foster-father to God, he had a lot of responsibility.


The part that stood out to me was in Matthew's gospel with the Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:1-12). The discussion question was:
"What manly virtues did St. Joseph demonstrate in the 'Flgiht into Egypt' (Matt 2) and how does that relate to my life?"
I had never thought of it in terms of myself being in St. Joseph's place, but I realized what MY impulse would be if an angel appeared to me and told me that soldiers were coming to kill all of the children.  

My instinct as man would be to grab a sword and run out to try to STOP the soldiers - knowing that I'd probably die in the process, "but at least I did SOMETHING!"

I remember how I felt when I first heard of the CT school shooting and I cannot imagine what St. Joseph went through - being told AHEAD of time that something like that would happen and then be told he could not do anything to stop it. I cannot imagine having to just "RUN."

I seem to have an inclination to try to "fix what is wrong with the World" and I can easily get distracted by big political events and /or useless arguments about big political events. There is a part of me that just wants to "FIGHT the good fight" and even be a "martyr" for cause of justice. That's the raw emotional response in how I reacted to the blogger last week.

"There are many who would eagerly be martyred in front of the astonished gaze of thousands, but will not bear the pinpricks of daily life with a cheerful spirit, but think! Which is more heroic?"  - St. Josemaría Escrivá (founder of Opus Dei)
When I got asked last month to be on the Dr. Oz show (http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/gay-straight-controversial-therapy), at first I really wanted to go and argue for the truth, but God seemed to be telling me "NO."  I am glad that others were called to fight that fight, but it was clear that for one reason or another God didn't want ME to do this particular program.

In Matthew 2:1-12, St. Joseph was given very specific instructions to take Mary and the baby Jesus and RUN.  If he had acted in any other way or tried to handle things his OWN way (like I'm so inclined to do), he would not have fulfilled the mission God called him to do.



St. Joseph's mission in life was very much like a Navy Seal. He had to sneak past enemy lines and ignore the big explosions and fighting all around him. He had to stay the course, have courage and faith - AND focus on the one specific task he was given - even while it may have seemed like the enemy was winning big glorious battles right in front of him.

Since I came back into the Church and surrendered my life to Christ, there have been many occasions where the Holy Spirit has led me to specific people and places where I've had the privilege of participating in HIS harvest and seeing soul's revived and lives transformed (ONE at a time). Sometimes the mission is just to plant seeds, but I can still seem to tell when I have accomplished the mission and when I have NOT.

I have to learn to daily surrender to God's will and trust the Holy Spirit to lead me where I need to go. It's just really hard though to have to see the enemy win his seemingly spectacular battles (politics, the media, etc.) and knowing that I CAN'T fight those battles and can't fix the World in aggregate. Sometimes it is painful to obey and accept that I can't save everyone. It is hard to trust and let go of my OWN will. However, I know that staying focused on the "little things" and obeying his voice, keeps me rooted in HIM and through HIM my small efforts will bear fruit. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Text from last night: "Fallen in Love"


A few weeks ago, a guy came to our meeting who had recently come into the church and seemed to be struggling emotionally. I talked with him afterward about his journey and the various opportunities for support and healing. He seemed interested, but not fully committed. Last night (around midnight), I was in bed when I woke up too see a text from him saying  "I've fallen in love with someone who loves me back for the first time."